Alimony Question

July 25, 2013 11:31 am Published by Comments Off on Alimony Question

Dear Elinor,

My wife and I have divided our assets, we have a plan for sharing time with our children, and know what we want to do about money after out divorce. But we have not put anything in writing. Our 10th anniversary is coming up in a few months. I have heard that after 10 years I will have to pay more. Is this true?

Richard (name changed)
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Dear Richard,

Answering this question¬†for you individually would be giving legal advice – which I don’t do. But, I can tell you that the Florida Statutes (http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2010/Chapter61/All – scroll down to 61.08 to read about alimony specifically) call a marriage under 7 years a short term marriage, a marriage between 7 and 17 years a marriage of moderate duration, and a marriage over 17 years a long term marriage. I am not sure where you got the 10 year number from. The length of the marriage is one of the factors that a judge could consider when determining alimony. However, in mediation a couple can agree to just about anything regarding alimony. Where I try to focus couples is on need and ability to pay. So we start off by looking at income and expenses. In addition to the amount, I also want couples to discuss and agree on the duration of the alimony, under what circumstances it would terminate, and if it will be modifiable (to the amount and/or to the duration)¬†or not.

Best, Elinor

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